Oranges, orange juice

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by lazydaisy67, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. lazydaisy67

    lazydaisy67 Member

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    Can you preserve orange juice in any way? Not fresh squeezed, we don't get "good" oranges here in the Midwest. I've read oranges don't dehydrate well, but the peeling does, which I guess would be fine for cooking with, but is there a way to process something like juice concentrate? In my mind I'm thinking something along the lines of the frozen juice concentrate cans that are SO cheap to buy. Since it's acidic it should can well, but don't know if there's any nutritional reason to have it on the long-term shelf.
     
  2. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

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    You are right about oranges not dehydrating well, have tried it, was just a waste of fruit. The peel does dehydrate very well and have a supply of orange and lemon zest on my shelf. The peels also candy very well, they are similar to the old orange gumdrops, except that the candied peel is edible and the old gumdrops are not.

    Have heard of people stripping the skin off the orange wedges and dehydrating them in low heat and somehow using them to make drinkable orange juice. Have not tried that one since my attempts at dehydrating the oranges worked out the way it did.

    I am going to the grocery store today and will get several cans of orange juice concentrate and try canning it and see how it comes out. Will post the results tonight.
     

  3. lazydaisy67

    lazydaisy67 Member

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    That would be awesome! I was thinking that 2 cans of concentrate would easily fit into a pint jar and that would make about a gallon of juice, but I'm not finding anything at all about the long-term shelf life. I found info about canning oranges, but the lady on the web site said they only keep for 6-9 months before they start changing color and the taste gets bland. Don't know if using fruit fresh would help that or not.
    I will keep looking into it in between loads of laundry today and will be excited to hear what your experience is.
     
  4. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

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    Well, its done, picked up 6 cans of frozen orange juice this morning, along with three cans of frozen apple juice. I melted them in a granite ware pan and filled 10 oz jelly jars. Hot water bathed them for 1 hour. I Hot water bathed them on the assumption that the acidity level was proper for it, If anyone feels that this is wrong let me know.

    The orange juice turned just a shade darker after cooked and the apple juice didn't appear to change in color at all. The orange juice concentrate did come out of the hot water bath in what appeared to be two distinct layers of liquid, probably the pulp separated but readily mixed when shaken.

    When prepared(orange juice), mixed with water, it looked like the juice poured from a can, and tasted like it also. Pretty good for canned concentrate, it did seem a bit more tart and less sweet(the way I prefer it) than when made straight from frozen.

    The apple juice tasted a bit like cider just starting to go hard. Not too bad, acceptable in my book.

    I will do long term taste tests to keep a check on its stability but it appears to be a success on both juices.

    lazydaisy67
    Thanks for asking that question, you prompted me to do the experiment, in my book you get the credit for this tentative success.
     
  5. VUnder

    VUnder Well-Known Member

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    Why can't you cook them down like syrup is cooked out of cane juice? Just evaporate the water away with heat, then put it in a jar.
     
  6. Dixie

    Dixie Well-Known Member

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    I keep orange and lemon zest in my pantry for cooking but I wouldn't know how to begin canning (without freezing) orange juice without the fear of destroying the vitamins. For LTS I buy Tang in the large canisters at Sam's and make marmalade from the fruit. The nutritional reason to have it in LTS is to prevent scurvy, that's why sailors carried fruit cakes on long voyages.
     
  7. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

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    I thought about cooking the concentrate down but opted not to because of what Dixie said. I didn't want to risk destroying any more of the nutrients with extra heat.

    The less heat applied, the more nutrition is preserved, but, I think that reducing Orange Juice concentrate with heat(boiling it down to a thicker syrup) would probably result in the same or near same taste but am pretty sure that there would be trade offs.

    With the apple juice, I don't think it could handle much more cooking, I am guessing that it would likely have more of a jelly flavor than a juice taste.

    lazydaisy67 - I guess i'm a little irritated with you(not really) - Now I have a bunch more work to do, gonna have to add Orange and Apple Juice concentrate to the stores now. I am guessing about 1 - 2 jars of each per week, I have a 2 1/2 year old grandson that loves juice(chuse - his word) and gotta keep the natives happy and healthy.
     
  8. VUnder

    VUnder Well-Known Member

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    My mother cans a lot, hundreds of quarts a season. I put my jars in a bath of water in a large pot, not touching the bottom. Then heat your juice to just warm, maybe 170 or so, and pour in the jars and put the lids on. Set them on the counter on a towel, and when they cool, the lids will snap down and make a vacuum seal. I have kept some apple cider this way for over a year. I just heat it enough to start to steam a little. I was actually doing a little something else and was selling more than I could make. I kept the less than full jars from each batch.
     
  9. lazydaisy67

    lazydaisy67 Member

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    Water bath is sufficient because of the acidity, but I'm pretty sure the heat "kills" the vitamin C. Not sure if in the long term it's worth it to can or not. Guess I was just thinking of ways to make eating SEEM a little more like normal after TSHTF. For needed vitamins we have supplements, but still.
    Interested if yours will turn even more brown after being stored for a while. The article I read said 6-9 months before changing to brown.
     
  10. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

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    When I start canning, dehydrating or otherwise start preserving something new or in a new way, I do up enough to put on the shelf for long term tests. I usually will open a sample each month and do a taste and appearance test until I am satisfied it will keep or until it fails.

    The method that VUnder uses may well be a better method for keeping the juices, less heat, more vitamins - Will put some on the shelf done that way and do parallel test with them. Thanks VUnder.

    Will keep posted on status in the future.